Trading Water as a Commodity is Risky!

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Trading Water as a Commodity is Risky!

Currently the state of California has the world’s first and nation’s only water futures market. With its establishment in 2020, global water advocates including the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation condemned this move as dangerous. 

U.S. lawmakers recently reintroduced a bill aimed at prohibiting the trading of water as a commodity. With growing concerns about the potential exploitation of water scarcity by private investors, including hedge funds and corporations, this bill is a crucial step to safeguard water as a public resource. Water-futures trading, similar to speculation in oil or gold, has raised alarm bells, particularly in water scarce regions like the southwest United States. The reintroduction of the Future of Water Act comes at a time when advocates, like Freshwater Future and Food and Water Watch, are calling for urgent action to prevent further commodification and privatization of water resources. 

Privatization of our water systems has been increasingly floated as a panacea for water affordability and infrastructure crises in the United States.  Last year, we reported about how an advisory council to the White House issued a report that recommended making it even easier to privatize the nation’s water systems. However, research has shown that privately owned water systems on average charge 59 percent more than their publicly-owned counterparts. Sign this petition to tell your legislators, the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council, and President Biden that:

  • Water must remain under public control;
  • Privatization has no place in the future of our water infrastructure; and
  • All recommendations to privatize the nation’s water systems MUST NOT be acted upon!